Lenses for Olympus OM-D and PEN system cameras have to fulfill two key demands: Fast focusing for still photography, and, silent and smooth focusing for HD video capture.
Olympus' MSC lens technology combines the following key components to meet these requirements:
- High precision screw drive system
- High speed drive motor with precise stop-start control characteristics
- Guide shafts with micron accurate tolerances
- Low focusing optical mass for extremely fast moving speed and precise control
As can be seen from the above diagram comparing two popular Olympus digital lenses of the same focal length (9-18mm), the traditional SLR lens design of the Zuiko Digital model (left) requires the movement of a large optical mass for focusing compared to the MSC lens design of the M.Zuiko series (right). The significantly smaller focusing mass of the MSC lens enables its rapid and accurate focusing movement control.
The high speed drive motor propels the focusing group in the ultrawide-angle M.Zuiko 9-18mm lens forwards and backwards using a finely pitched screw shaft, providing extremely smooth, quiet and precise movment during continuous autofocusing in video recording. The support shafts (in yellow) in are micron accurate in manufacturing tolerance for maximum optical accuracy. The picture on the right shows the actual focusing module of the M.Zuiko 9-18mm MSC lens.
Even in an OM-D and PEN system lens with a wider focal length range, such as the M.Zuiko 14-150mm lens, the focusing group comprises only two extremely low mass optical elements.